World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Bangalore Appeal

Participants of the WCC Workshop on “Transformative Masculinities”, coming from six Asian countries and four others, representing 23 denominations, met at United Theological College, Bangalore, on 17-21 March 2012, to discuss, deliberate and share experiences on men’s and women’s struggles in relation with masculinity constructed by the notions of hegemonic power.

21 March 2012

We, 32 participants of the WCC’s Workshop on “Transformative Masculinities”, coming from six Asian countries and four others, representing 23 denominations, who met at United Theological College, Bangalore, on 17-21 March 2012, have discussed, deliberated and shared experiences on men’s and women’s struggles in relation with masculinity constructed by the notions of hegemonic power.

We have grappled with the meaning of the biblical texts that we have acquired as our heritage that essentially remind us that “God created humankind in God’s image… and it was very good” (Genesis 1:27-31).

We have shared different stories from different contexts, of the cry of the people who are discriminated and marginalized on the basis of their gender, class, castes, preferred lifestyle, as well as sexual orientation.

We have also discovered that in many communities of Asia, harassments, violence to the human bodies and sexual abuse are practiced due to various factors like traditions, values, beliefs, ethnicity, militarization, and many others that are perpetuated within the ideologies of patriarchy.

It was noted in our deliberations that secular and religious communities have been unaware of, silent or silenced on the above issues. As a result, the victims do not have a voice or a forum to address their grievances. On the other hand, those who choose to speak out find themselves victimized again when they report to the authorities, be it the law enforcement agencies, church hierarchy or other religious institutions.

We believe that churches, other Christian institutions, and ecumenical partners can play a significant role in addressing the issue of gender discrimination and gender violence by drawing and adopting a sexual harassment and gender inclusive policy and making it applicable at all levels of the churches and Christian institutions.

We therefore appeal that the churches and institutions come together united to bring about a transformed human community based on justice and equality for a culture of peace.

Bangalore, 21 March 2012